Day 8 Glacier Hiking on Fox Glacier South Island New Zealand

Day 8 Glacier Hiking on Fox Glacier South Island New Zealand

We stayed at Franz Josef Glacier, but the next morning, we went to the neighboring Fox Glacier.  Here we did a 4 hour trek to the terminal face of the glacier, then climbed onto the glacier itself.  They provided all the gear you needed, including crampons, socks, ice picks, books, and waterproof jackets, and the tour guides worked tirelessly to pick away at the glacier to ensure there are easy hiking paths.

Fox Trot Fox Glacier NZ | Glacier Hiking in South Island New Zealand.
Fox Trot Fox Glacier NZ | Glacier Hiking in South Island New Zealand.
Fox Trot Fox Glacier NZ | Glacier Hiking in South Island New Zealand.
Our guide was into rocks and geology. The photo to the right had some significance. Something about the green coloring? Any of you geologists know?
Fox Trot Fox Glacier Hike | Glacier Hiking in South Island New Zealand.
Fox Trot Fox Glacier Hike | Glacier Hiking in South Island New Zealand.
We got to try some fresh glacier water. Tasted like rocks to me. :P
Drinking Glacier at Fox Glacier New Zealand.
The glaciers are absolutely gorgeous. If you do the helihike, where you take the helicopter up to a higher part of the glacier, you get more brilliant coloring in the ice.  Due to weather conditions, all helihikes were canceled for this particular day.
Fox Glacier Tours | Glacier Hiking in South Island New Zealand.
Fox Trot Fox Glacier NZ | New Zealand Glaciers.
Fox Trot Fox Glacier | New Zealand Glaciers.
Blue ice!   I think it’s the first time we’ve visited a glacier. The ice is blue because it’s so compressed and very little to no air bubbles are trapped inside.  When this happens, the red and yellow light rays can go further into the ice and are absorbed, while the blue light rays are bounced back.  A little science lesson for ya.
Blue Ice / Blue Glacier at Fox Glacier New Zealand.
Blue Ice / Blue Glacier at Fox Glacier New Zealand.
Fox Trot Fox Glacier Hike | Glacier Hiking in New Zealand South Island.
Fox Trot Fox Glacier NZ | Glacier Hiking in South Island New Zealand
Fox Trot Fox Glacier | Glacier Hiking in New Zealand South Island.
Fox Trot Fox Glacier | Glacier Hiking in South Island New Zealand
Fox Trot Fox Glacier NZ | Glacier Hiking in New Zealand South Island.
Fox Trot Fox Glacier NZ | Glacier Hiking in South Island New Zealand
Fox Trot Fox Glacier | Glacier Hiking in New Zealand South Island.
The hikers look like little ants.
Fox Trot Fox Glacier NZ | Glacier Hiking in South Island New Zealand
Can you still see the hikers?
Fox Trot Fox Glacier NZ | Glacier Hiking in South Island New Zealand
Fox Trot Fox Glacier NZ | Glacier Hiking in South Island New Zealand

Tips for Hiking Fox Glacier and Staying in Franz Josef Glacier:

  1. Following the hike, we headed back to the hotel and grabbed dinner with a few people in town.  We ended up grabbing food from Wok Box, a fake chinese food truck in town.  We already suspected it to be bad, but it was worse than I could ever imagine.  If there is one tip you remember about Franz Josef Glacier, never ever EVER eat at that place. The chinese food is probably the worst I’ve ever had.  The worst!  The lodging we stayed at was Rainforest Retreat. They had a huge shared kitchen and a grocery store down the street.  Cooking your own food is probably a nice option here.
  2. You’re not going to want to forget your cameras for Fox Glacier.  It’s not a strenuous hike, so you can easily carry some extra camera weight.
  3. Wear layers for the Fox Glacier hike.  It’s warmer until you get onto the glacier.  They recommend 3-4 layers.

Would you drink the glacier water?

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. This looks spectacular! The blue ice is mesmerizingly beautiful. Will definitely need to add New Zealand on my list! — Michelle

    1. Thank you! You should add it. There really isn’t anywhere else quite like NZ!

  2. i asked the geologist i live with =) about your rock picture, and he said if its sedimentary rock, it could be algae poop. or if it’s metamorphic rock, it could be iron or copper, or something else. he’d have to see it in person to identify it.

    1. @sophia hahaha! well from what i remember.. she said the coloring shows that it has a lot of history and shows the age of the glacier? Or it could be algae poop. My memory is pretty terrible now.

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